Healthy and General

Man killed by Harris Co. sergeant over Dollar General theft

3 min read

The man shot and killed by a Harris County Sheriff’s Office sergeant Friday for years shoplifted from businesses — taking mostly soap and other household goods — before the fatal run-in following a similar allegation of theft, according to a review of court records.

An employee at the Dollar General discount shop in the 2000 block of FM 1960 West tried to stop Roderick Brooks, 47, in his latest attempt to shoplift but was assaulted, police said.

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A sergeant dispatched to the theft spotted Brooks in the 15000 block of Kuykendahl Road, about a mile from the store, and gave chase. The sergeant attempted to stun Brooks with a Taser, but the device failed to stop him, the sheriff’s office said. A struggle ensued and Brooks tried grabbing the Taser — prompting the sergeant to open fire, the agency said.

Brooks died at the scene with a gunshot wound to the neck, according to medical examiner records.

At the time of his death, Brooks had been free for hours on a personal recognizance bond stemming from a felony theft charge filed Thursday — in which he was accused of stealing $124 worth of shampoo and beer from a Walmart, according to court records.

Prosecutors in that case had asked that Brooks be held on a $30,000 bond, citing nearly 20 theft convictions. The items Brooks stole over the years ranged from underwear, shirts, body wash and deodorant taken from stores that included Family Dollar, Walgreens and Target, according to a review of recent theft convictions.

He was slated Monday to appear in court on the latest theft charge but records list him as being a “no show” — not reflecting that he had been killed days earlier.

Brooks routinely listed his sister as his nearest relative in bail documents. In a brief phone call, Demetria Brooks said she was still trying to understand what happened to him.

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“My brother, he’s always been in and out of trouble — but he’s no murderer,” she said.

She has since hired attorney Sadiyah Evangelista to take a look at Brooks’ death — with that lawyer noting that following past arrests, court records often noted that Brooks had either a mental illness or intellectual disability.

“He has mental health issues and a history of theft, but he does not have a history of violence,” Evangelista said. “He did not need to die in the manner he did, with some items from Dollar General.”

The lawyer disputed the sheriff’s office timeline of how Brooks’ death unfolded, saying witnesses near the discount store saw the deputy “punching him excessively” prior to using the Taser.

Brooks listed his last known address as the Pam Lychner State Jail in Humble.

The deputy involved in the shooting has not been identified. Homicide and internal affairs investigators are reviewing the shooting, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Division. A grand jury will determine whether charges will be filed.

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